Sunday, December 1, 2013

Most Extravagant Options On Luxury Cars

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Here's a test to determine if you're ultra-wealthy or just a regular old Joe. What do you do if, on a sunny but cold day, you really want to drive your convertible?

A. Realize you can't bend the world to your desires, and drive the convertible, but with the roof up.
B. Wear a hat and gloves, and turn the heat up full blast.
C. Make sure you're driving a Mercedes-Benz E350 convertible with a $3,000 option that will keep your ears warm.

The truly rich will go for C. The rest of us might have to go for another option that's not even listed here, driving the one and only car that's working today.

Rich people have good lives, and carmakers want to make sure they're never, ever inconvenienced. So they offer lots of pricey options to make sure rich people have back massagers, scented air and even foot rests as they speed down the road. looked through high end car makers spec sheets to find the most extravagant car options on the market today. Click through to see what how the other half lives.

Mercedes-Benz Airscarf -- Mercedes-Benz E350 Convertible, $3,270

Sticker Price: $59,070
Invoice Price: $54,935
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

The idea is so simple and elegant it had to come from a German carmaker. The Airscarf is exactly what it sounds like: vents on the tops of the seats in the convertible direct warm air around the head and necks of driver and passenger, creating a cozy sensation even on chilly days. The Airscarf is controlled by computer to calculate the ideal air temperature for your speed. No need to wait for the heater to warm up, the vents use energized ceramic particles to heat the air around you quickly.

Reclining Rear Executive Seats -- Lexus LS 460 L, $16,400

Sticker Price: $72,140 - $81,925
Invoice Price: $66,368-$75,371
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway

The back seat was once where younger siblings, children or fair-weather friends were banished. That criteria gets flipped on its head in the Lexus LS. The LS feels more like a mini limo in the back, with DVD players and swivel tables. Engage the retractable ottoman and lean back in the reclining seats and it feels like home. Hit the massage button for the full executive treatment. Now that haughty front seat crew are more like your chauffeurs.

Massaging Seats -- Audi A8, $4,000

Sticker Price: $75,100 - $135,900
Invoice Price: $68,844-$126,388
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

Not only does the Audi A8 provide massages, but has three settings to achieve the exact amount of relaxation required during a long stay in traffic. Audis are known for their smart and sleek interiors, but it's under the hood where the A8 pops. The Audi A8 is an impressive blend of performance, technology and luxury. It has a 372-horsepower 4.2-liter V8 engine that is capable of propelling this big sedan from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.7 seconds.

Magic Sky Control -- Mercedes-Benz SLK350, $2,500

Sticker Price: $55,400
Invoice Price: $53,681-$57,540
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway

The Mercedes-Benz SLK350 features the world's first electrochromatic roof. The Magic Sky Control can transition from opaque to transparent and anywhere in between in a matter of seconds by sending specific currents through the light-blocking crystals sandwiched in the glass. A clear roof gives the driver the feel of having the convertible top down, without all the troublesome wind noise.

Auto-Closing Sedan Doors -- BMW 740Li, $4,800

Sticker Price: $77,600
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

Gone is the uncouth sound of slamming doors for BMW owners. The 740Li is a big luxury sedan, both inside the passenger compartment and under the hood. The refined, powerful V12 engine kicks out 535 horsepower, enough to turn any driver into jelly. After driving this beast you'll need help standing up, let alone closing the door. Luckily the 740Li does it for you. With just a slight push,the door mechanically locks itself into place.

Illuminated Star -- Mercedes-Benz E350, $550

Sticker Price: $54,400
Invoice Price: $50,592
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

When is a Benz not a Benz? When people can't tell if you're driving one. In the dark, why, it might as well be a Lexus. Avoid this embarrassment by adding the Illuminated Star option to your new E350. The famous Mercedes-Benz star on the grill is outlined in a halo of glowing LED's, letting the world know you paid for fine German engineering, day or night.

Custom Interior Parts -- Porsche 911, $165 to $2,570

Sticker Price: $84,300 - $181,100
Invoice Price:  NA
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway

Porsche has an endless collection of interesting options to choose from in the interior of the popular 911. The fanciest include interior packages which will ad touches of carbon, mahogany, brushed Aluminum or Alcantara - a suede like composite material - to your interior. Everything else is covered in super smooth high grain leather. From adjustable ambient lighting to painted air vent slats, nothing is too good for a Porsche or its owner.

Stryker Red Paint -- SRT Viper, $14,600

Sticker Price: $99,885-$122,385
Invoice Price: $94,434-$115,134
Fuel Economy: 12 mpg city, 19 mpg highway

Each Viper is carefully painted by hand before they're shipped to customers. Stryker Reds don't come down the line very often, but when they do the candy apple red car is mesmerizing. The paint is a striking statement, but then so is the car. And really, what's another $14,000 on top of a $100,000 base model?

Selectable Cabin Fragrance -- Mercedes-Benz S550, $350

Sticker Price: $98,000
Invoice Price: $91,140
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city, 24 mpg highway

Part of the Air Balance Package, Mercedes offers drivers four different signature scents inspired by the world whipping by your car. Nightlife, Sports, Downtown and Freeside were all created by Mercedes-Benz resident futurologist Sabine Englehardt. They call it the first "automotive room scent", and it works kind of like a Glade plug-in air freshener. Except more expensive. The system turns itself on and off at regular intervals, making sure your nose never gets fully acclimatized to the smell.

Active seat bolsters -- Mercedes-Benz E550, $660

Sticker Price: $60,400
Invoice Price: $56,172
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city, 26 mpg highway

If bracing for the Gs in your 402 horsepower luxury sedans seems passe, you could always go with active seat bolsters. The seats are kept level by computer controlled springs bolted underneath. When the turn is extreme, the seats equalize to keep passengers level. The active seat bolster can be turned off as well, to give drivers the full feel of the car. The E-Class sits in the middle of the Mercedes car line, between the compact and affordable C-Class and the big, flashy S-Class. It's the company's best-selling car worldwide, partly because of the car's slightly more affordable luxury.